The sample of Zuidam Honey Whisky Liqueur that I tasted was brought home to me by DBS, in a small, clear plastic bottle, which made for an interesting experience, as I had no preconceptions from the physical appearance of the packaging. After I’d written my tasting notes, I researched the bottle and was startled to find that it is definitely not a typical bottle: it’s a beautiful, decanter-like bottle made from dark glass, with a very minimalistic label.
Zuidam Distillers is a family business – the founder’s wife designed the unique packaging for some of their products – and the Honey Whisky Liqueur is apparently one of the first recipes created by one of the sons who now run the distillery.
The nose of the liqueur was a delightful combination of honey and fragrant floral notes. It was also fresh, like a light whisky, reminding me of some of the very first Scotch whiskies that I tried on my first trip to Edinburgh. The more I delved into it, the more flavours I found, including: toffee, banana (I frequently smell banana in whisky, which is something of a running joke between DBS & me, but I noticed it, so I shall note it here), burnt sugar, and a tiny bit of anise.
On the tongue, this liqueur was smooth, silky, and complex. Initially, there was a pleasant sweetness, before a very sudden and unexpected peatiness; from the nose, I expected something a lot more subtle, but there was a wonderful warmth to this drink that lasted for a good while. Every now and again, I also got reappearances of the honey and burnt sugar flavours that had started in the nose, supported by subtle, sweet spicy notes. The finish was warm and smoky, with no burn whatsoever.
I have to admit, I’m really quite fond of this one: I love the delicate nose and how this contrasts with the rich, warm flavour. I shall definitely have to buy myself a larger bottle before the colder months set in and that warmth can truly be appreciated.
– Mrs. B.